Long Beach Job Corps Community Service Efforts Honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Students from the Long Beach Job Corps Center participated in two activities for a Day of Service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as part of the national Job Corps student-led anti-violence initiative, Youth 2 Youth: Partners 4 Peace.

Students started Youth 2 Youth, or Y2Y with three basic aims; to talk about violence and aggression in their communities, to empower one another and promote peace, and to share stories about solutions.

Student Ambassadors worked alongside community members to assemble meals for individuals in the community at the Meals on Wheels of Long Beach Program. Together they assembled three hundred thirty meals that will feed individuals in the greater Long Beach area who may not be able to cook or shop for their own meals.

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The students also partnered with Food Finders to assemble and pack three hundred fifty-one bags of non-perishable food. The bags will go to Food 4 Kids, a program where elementary school students in need who attend Long Beach Unified School District schools receive food.

When asked why she was involved with the Day of Service activities, Latavia McSwain, a Y2Y Student Ambassador simply stated, “I like giving back.” Stephen Smith, who volunteered at Meals on Wheels remembered that his grandmother utilized Meals on Wheels. He participated because he feels blessed to have what he has and wants to help others.

Founded in the spring of 2015, Y2Y is a violence-prevention initiative created by and led by Job Corps students nationwide. This initiative is the first national, student-created, and student-led effort to curb youth violence on Job Corps centers, in their surrounding communities, and in the hometowns of students and graduates.

Students recognize that violence—online, in the workplace, and at home—is a critical issue that young people must be equipped to understand, avoid, and address. By engaging the community in Y2Y, students hope to further their efforts to promote peace following Martin Luther King Jr.’s example.

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